Chapter 3: The Origin of the Line
Disclaimer: BtVS and AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Stargate characters belong to Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission..
A/N: In response of challenge #1233 by rutterla.
"Because he is not a demon, he is a descendent of the Ancients," the small grey, Roswell alien-looking one said.
Jack smiled when he recognized two of the faces, even if he didn't know why they were here. "Thor! Lya! What are you and two people I don't know doing here?"
"AHH! More demons! They're with old guy demon!" Xander shouted.
Buffy rolled her eyes at him. "Didn't you hear Faith and me say that Jack wasn't a demon?"
"Then who are they and how were they able to get past the wards?" Willow demanded suspiciously.
"Well, I've only heard of Thor and he's an alien, so I'm guessing that the other three are as well. I missed his last visit 'cause I was working," she pouted, looking at Jack with a glare which he returned with a smile and wink. Personally, he was glad she hadn't been there with those Goa'uld; they might have pissed her off and found out what an excellent host she'd make.
Thor took over the explanation, "And we were able to get in this structure using the technology of my people."
Then he turned back to the Stargate group and bowed his head in a gesture of honor. "O'Neill, Jackson, it is good to see you again. And it is an honor to meet you, Protectors," he said, looking at Buffy and Faith. "These are representatives from the other two of the Four Races. Morgan of the Ancients and Cas of the Furlings. And Lya is here on behalf of the Nox," he introduced them, gesturing as he spoke.
While they were talking, Willow was trying to weave a spell like she had done earlier to hold Buffy and the guys. Nothing she did made any difference. When Kennedy saw this, she moved towards them to attack and was repelled by a shield that surrounded the Buffy, Faith, Jack, Daniel and the newcomers.
Buffy turned around to yell at them, "Guys chill! They haven't done anything to you so I'd suggest you leave them alone. 'Cause if I understand who these guys are, nothing you do will accomplish anything other than wearing you out. Lya's magick is much stronger and older than any Earth magick, Willow, so you aren't going to be able break through it. Now just let them explain why they are here since it'd have to be pretty big for the Four Races to get together again."
Then she looked back at the alien group to apologize, "I'm sorry for the unprovoked attack. Tensions are running high around here and not everyone is thinking clearly. I hope that this doesn't tarnish your opinion of our whole race too much."
The representatives of the alliance looked pleased at the Protector's words and her lack of violence. Perhaps there was hope for the line after all.
The Sunnydale group, however, was far less happy with the way things were turning out. Buffy's presence was supposed to ensure the spell worked. Or if that didn't happen, they were supposed to be able to guilt her into taking back her responsibilities that she dumped on them in LA.
Jack and Daniel were stunned at the almost diplomatic way that Buffy was talking. Not that they believed she always solved her problems with her fists, just that it was more natural for her. And Daniel knew for certain that it was Lya's magick that kept them safe and went on to his first question, "Wait, I thought the Ancients had died out?"
"No, we simply Ascended. And that means something different that what you know, Protector," Morgan explained with a smile at Buffy, knowing what her fear would be.
Buffy grinned back. "Thanks for the clarification, though you are way better looking than the Mayor when he ascended."
"That was a demonic ascension using rituals. Our kind of Ascension is a way for our essences to shed the need for a physical body and exist as energy," Morgan told them as she allowed her body to transform into wavy white tentacles.
"Dawn was once energy, does that mean she was one of you?" Buffy wondered.
Morgan shook her head regretfully, "I am sorry, no. She did not have an essence until the monks created her human body."
Afraid that this could slide off into any number of tangents, Jack interjected, "Sorry to interrupt, but we still haven't said hi to the other new guy. You know, from the race that we haven't come across yet…the Furlings. Which I have to admit, I was expecting someone who looked like an ewok. No offense."
Cas responded while studying Jack, "None taken. You are the equal of the Protector," he proclaimed.
Jack slung his arm around Buffy and declared proudly, "Nope, she can easily kick my ass."
"I am sorry, maybe that was the wrong way to put it. The mate?" Cas tried again.
Buffy's eyes widened at his meaning and quickly answered before Faith could say anything, "Uh, yeah, Jack is with me. What difference does that make?"
Cas continued answering as it was his race that knew the most about the Protectors. "If he is indeed the carrier of the Ancient gene and he is the mate to a Protector, then that means that you two are the ones the dreams spoke of millennia ago."
"Are you trying to tell me there's a prophecy about who I fell in love with?" she asked with a dangerous gleam in her eyes.
"Simply put, yes," Cas said, stepping back out of reach of the woman. He recognized the threat.
She ran her hands through her hair in frustration. "Just great. Wait, why do you know so much about me and why are you all calling me the Protector?" Buffy demanded, looking at the four of them.
Lya spoke up with a soft voice, "Because you and your line were designed to protect against evil."
Faith looked surprised. "I thought the Slayer was created by using a demon."
"A lie spread by those who wished the Protectors to fear themselves. As well as changing their title to instill fear instead of hope," Lya replied with a disappointed expression.
Unable to contain himself any longer, Daniel inquired, "So who did create the Protectors? "
Thor took over the accounting, "The Four Races joined together and each contributed to the final line."
"Are you saying that it was genetic manipulation?" Daniel remarked.
"In a manner of speaking. Each race had something to offer," Thor went on.
Jack stared at the Four Races in bemusement before saying, "No offense, but I'm surprised that the Nox would go along with something like this – given their anti-violence ways."
Not the least bit upset by his comment, Lya clarified the Nox's position, "We understand your confusion. It was actually the perversion of the Protectors that convinced us to try our own way. They were turned from a shield into a sword. And then to make it worse, used recklessly by those corrupted by greed."
"Why didn't you step in then?" Buffy asked in confusion.
"And do what?" Morgan remarked. "We could not undo what we had done. So we did what we thought was best and transplanted the remainder of the line to the one planet that still had respect for the Protectors – Earth."
"How long ago was that?" Daniel inquired, looking for a starting point for his research when they got back to the mountain.
Morgan worked out the time in her head. "It was just before our people left to seed a new galaxy…about 25,000 years ago."
Daniel thought about this and announced, "What probably happened was that the Shadowmen did the same thing the others had and made the Protectors into Slayers and lied about their origin."
Faith poked her head into the conversation again. Damn, B had strange friends! "Not to sound all self-centered here, but what does this have to do with me and B here?"
Cas turned to her with a sad look on his face. "The Shadowmen did manage to change the original Protector line in that they would allow only one to live at a time. It is remarkable that your world has not fallen to the demons before this. Their actions were incredibly arrogant and short-sighted."
Lya took over, "What they have done has made it dangerous for more than one of you to exist at any given time. The instability of the magicks they used to ensure this only made it worse. Since you are the younger Protector, the line flows through you now. Sadly, there is nothing we can do to alter this without endangering the whole line."
Figuring that this meant no more minis, Faith went onto her friend's fate. "What about B?"
Thor took a step closer to Buffy to reply, "Because the elder Protector has no direct connection to the line, but still influences it, we will have to alter her to stabilize the magicks again."
Jack's eyes narrowed at that. "Thor, buddy, I don't think I like what you're suggesting here. This is the woman I love that you're so casually planning to 'alter'."
"The risk to her is minimal, O'Neill," Thor assure him.
Buffy put her hand on Jack's arm to draw him back from threatening Thor. "Jack, it doesn't matter if it's minimal or not. It needs to be done."
He looked at her with an anguished expression. "But I don't want to lose you."
She smiled at him before agreeing, "And I don't want to lose you either. I love you too, you know."
Seeing the determination in her face, Jack turn back to ask, "So what do you need to do?"
"It is best for us to continue this on the Nox homeworld where the others can assist us," Lya explained.
"Okay then, let's get this show on the road," Buffy said with a nod towards Faith in goodbye, "Say hi to Giles for me when you see him, will you Faith? How come he isn't here for this fun gathering?"
Faith shrugged, "He's in England, trying to figure this out with that witchy group that helped out Red. That and he wasn't sure that you'd be too happy to see him again. He told me to tell you that he's sorry for the way things turned out and that you can call him if you want."
She breathed in deeply as she considered it. "I'll think about it and let Angel now, 'k? But tell him thanks for the apology and that I miss him."
"Have you forgotten about us? What are we supposed to do now?" Xander asked Buffy angrily.
Buffy answered as if it should be clear, "Train the Potentials."
Willow looked hurt. "You're not planning to help us?"
Still caught up in his resentment, Xander snapped, "Course she isn't! She has her new life and can't be bothered with taking care of her old responsibilities."
"What about me, Buffy?" Dawn asked tearfully.
"What about you, Dawn? You're with two of your legal guardians. You have people to take care of you. You showed me six months ago that I didn't have a place in your life anymore," Buffy reminded her, no longer accepting responsibility for the others' actions or their consequences.
Accusations and threats began to fill the room until Lya froze the Sunnydale group. Worried that these individuals could harm the elder Protector, the Nox representative inquired, "Protector, will they continue to cause trouble?"
"Probably unless I return to them," Buffy said, wondering if she would have to in order to keep them away from Jack and the Stargate. The sadness in her eyes was clear to the others.
Lya made her decision. "Then I see no alternative." She held her hands out in front of her and chanted softly. "They will awake after we leave and all that they will know is you are okay and alive. They will not remember anything about our visit."
Buffy didn't want her friend to continue to think their powers were rooted in darkness so she pleaded, "But shouldn't Faith know the truth?"
"She will, as will any Protector that follows her. What they do with that knowledge is up to them," Lya assured her.
Then the Buffy turned to Cas and asked mischievously, "So what exactly is this prophecy about me and Jack?"
A/N: I had a hard time writing Giles into this, so for the sake of argument, he is in the England Branch of the Council.